Rugby World Cup draw a blessing for Australia, Ireland and South Africa

Fionn Roar Guru

By Fionn, Fionn is a Roar Guru

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83 Have your say

    The 2019 World Cup draw appears to be a blessing for the Wallabies, as they managed to avoid the pool of death.

    If teams perform according to their seedings – as a tennis fan, I can say this is a very dubious assumption – Australia should avoid England and New Zealand, the top two teams in the world, until the final.

    However, the draw is an equally excellent opportunity for both South Africa and Ireland.

    Australia’s main threats are Georgia and Wales. Georgia are a much-improved side, a fantastic rugby success story, and may well challenge for a spot in the knock-out stages in a few World Cups time.

    However, I do not see them as beating Australia by 2019.

    Wales is the one team who Australia has consistently beaten without much trouble since 2007. However, the Wallabies are capable of losing to anyone on their day, and Wales lifted strongly against both England and Ireland in the Six Nations this year.

    Ireland’s pool features Scotland and Japan.

    Scotland beat Ireland in the Six Nations and are much better than previous years, while Japan proved in 2015 that they can beat anyone, and with a home crowd behind them, should be dangerous in 2019.

    That said, Ireland should top their pool, which would mean they will likely face…

    South Africa
    In a pool with the All Blacks and Italy, South Africa’s results since 2013 have been less than stellar, and Alistair Coetzee taking the reins has seen their run of results turn downright disastrous, including a loss to Italy.

    If Coetzee is retained as coach, it is difficult to see them beating the All Blacks, given the trio of poor coaching, player drain to Europe and internal South African rugby politics. Being in the same pool as the New Zealand though, means they won’t have to play them again until the final.

    Despite the 2016 loss, the Springboks should beat Italy, and then anyone who plays them in a quarter-final or semi-final would be foolish to underestimate them.

    If Coetzee is not the coach – say, if someone like Jake White is brought in at short notice to try and fix things – then every team in the draw should be afraid.

    Between their players in Europe and South Africa, the Springboks could easily be the second-best team in the world, and a big threat to New Zealand by 2019.

    According to seedings, Australia should top their pool and play France in the quarter-finals. France are improving after their terrible form in recent years, but were beaten by Australia’s up and comers in 2016, so the Wallabies should win that match and likely play whoever wins out of Ireland or South Africa.

    Both Ireland and South Africa should be confident for this quarter-final, and likewise see the semi-final as winnable. Likewise, Australia should view an out-of-form South Africa and Ireland as an equally winnable semi-final.

    England and New Zealand drew the short straw, which of the others will make the dream draw count?

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    The Crowd Says (83)

    • Roar Guru

      May 17th 2017 @ 3:18am
      Poth Ale said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:18am | ! Report

      Wales, France, Ireland and Japan in the semis.

      Who knows after that….

      • May 17th 2017 @ 8:59am
        Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Ireland in a World Cup semifinal?!?!

      • May 17th 2017 @ 12:26pm
        Fred said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        There is no way Japan will make the semis. Ireland and Scotland will trounce them in the pool stage. Japan fluked a win against an underperforming South Africa, and they’ve been down hill ever since. The hype about Japan is overdone.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

          Fluked a win over Springboks?

          Let me ask you this. Do you trust Graham Henry’s judgement? Does he knows what he is talking about?

          If you think so, watch this brief interview with Ted and hear what he has to say about Japan’s victory over the Boks

          fast forward to 1.50 in the clip.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 11:03am
            Suzy Poison said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

            Fred, sorry that’s rubbish.
            That same under performing 2015 Bok team gave the All Blacks a bit of scare, and in the end the AB’s only got home by 2 points.

            Eddie is brilliant coach, and the Japan result was no fluke. It was just brilliant coaching.
            My only thought is Japan don’t have Eddie anymore.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 12:45pm
          MitchO said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          Yeah Fred I think Scotland and Ireland will be too strong for Japan. But Hendrick Tui and Mafi are back rowers worthy of test match rugby and there are some 120kg props in the Japanese system. They had that hooker who played super rugby as well. They also have a guy named Lote Tuquiri. Not the Wallaby but any Fijian born back is likely to be capable of scoring a try or two.

          The South Africa victory shows that they can get up on their day.
          In the last World Cup we had a good game against England but Wales will be kicking themselves that they didn’t beat us.
          Also in the last World Cup Fiji played some good rugby. I thought they really took it to England with the Fiji forward pack holding up pretty well.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 3:51am
      Jeffrey said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:51am | ! Report

      How did NZ draw the short straw? They have the easiest draw if they top their pool. Somehow people have missed out on what a dream draw the winner of pool B has. If NZ tops pool B, they will in all likelihood play Scotland in the quarters which should be comfortable enough, and then most likely England in the semis. England would be shattered at this stage having had to already peak for four massive games leading up to the semis and for this reason alone I don’t think they will trouble NZ. It’s looking very likely that NZ will make the final again based on the draw.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 9:06am
        Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        ‘easiest draw if they top their pool’.

        Disagree, if England are still the second best team then having to play them in the semis is bad luck for New Zealand. Australia proved in 2015 that being in the pool of death doesn’t mean you can’t get up for the quarters or semis, and England have much more depth than Australia.

        New Zealand will probably make the final, but I’d still rather have Aus, SA or Ireland than England in the semis.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 9:47am
          Old Bugger said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          Well then Fionn, with that in mind, I shall wash my mouth with soap and suggest the ABs lose to the Bok in the pool matches and go, for the easier finals draw, that you predict.

          But then again, who’s to say that either of the Bok, England, AB’s or Ireland are ranked No2, come 2019….well ok, perhaps not the ABs but more so, the WBs…..let’s just say a typo error in that call, aye mate.

          It is as they say, all in the hands of the rugby gods, from now through to November 2019.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:34am
          Scrumma said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          It’s on the day, both teams have 80 minutes to strutt their stuff and bring their ( A) game, nothing is a gimme at a World Cup. Disasters happen dreams are broken, the sad thing about that is opposing fans are nasty at delivering their negative comments to another country’s failed campaign it’s like a roast dinner with all the trimmings.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 10:54am
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

          AB’s showed in the last WC they have found a formula how to go through the group stages without being undercooked. They will replicate that with some tweaks (they we too hot in QF and too soft in SF 2015 and perfect in the final).

          But what happens after the group stages is impossible to know. AB.s will win their group for sure, but there are no other sure group winners. I can see Both England, Australia and Ireland all end up at second place.
          AB’s might play Japan in the QF, but they could just as well end up playing Ireland (and all the talk of a dream draw is over),

        • May 17th 2017 @ 11:26am
          Jeffrey said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report


          “Australia proved in 2015 that being in the pool of death doesn’t mean you can’t get up for the quarters or semis, ”

          Australia in 2015 were flat against Scotland and were very lucky to win that quarterfinal.They were also not great against Argentina in the semis, if Argentina had not squandered a bunch of potential try scoring opportunities, the result might have been different. I remember the Aussies looking extremely tired in the second half of that semi.

          The fact is Australia peaked at the group stages and never regained that form for the rest of the tournament. Can’t blame them, it’s almost impossible to be at your best for so many weeks in a row.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 12:33pm
            Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            I’d agree completely on Scotland. I thought we played well against a strong Argentine side, and I think people forget just how close the final was until Carter’s brilliant boot changed the momentum with about 10 mins left.

            I think playing NZ will be super hard for England, and I don’t know if they would be able to back it up afterwards, but I do know that on current form NZ would be unwise to underestimate England.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 9:53pm
              Jeffrey said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:53pm | ! Report


              I disagree with how close the 2015 final was. I thought it was fairly one sided until Ben Smith got carded. Had he not been carded, I think it would have been a bit of a trashing.

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2017 @ 10:07pm
                Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

                Fair opinion, Jeffrey, perhaps you’re right.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 10:54pm
                englishbob said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

                I may get pilloried for this but I thought Kaino should have gone shortly afterwards aswell, high tackle or shoulder I think, 13-15 for 6-8 minutes would have put a different spin on it. I know everyone loves Nigel Owens and I do think he’s a nice guy but he made some fairly contentious calls in that final,
                I recall at one stage the wallabies were attacking, the TMO/linesperson signalled a penalty and because they’d advanced 10-15 meters further up Nigel said it would be advantage over anyway, I’m fairly sure if he’d told Stephen moore the points would have been gratefully accepted.
                That being said I think NZ were clearly the better team over 80 minutes and had those decisions been made it wouldn’t necessarily have led to a different result but it would have been closer. It speaks well of the wallaby team and management that it hasn’t been mentioned as an excuse since

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 1:29pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                I agree with Jeffrey here also. AB’s dominated that game.
                And if Owens missed to dish out any cards, it was against the WB’s, I saw two late late hits on Carter in the first half, both clear yellows.All AB’s got was one penalty.
                And yes, without Benders yellow, AB’s would have won easy.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 4:26am
      englishbob said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:26am | ! Report

      I’m all for taking positives when they present themselves but I cant help but think this is a trifle defeatist.
      A team wanting to win the RWC will have to factor in beating NZ to lift the cup otherwise what’s the point, whatever happens in the meantime NZ is still going to turn up to the next RWC with the best squad and probably the best form. Tiredness and injuries may be a factor for Aus but that’d be the same for anyone.
      Id have thought any team going to the RWC with an actual thought of ‘we might actually win this’ – currently confined to teams with a proven ability to beat NZ however infrequent – would want to play them sooner rather than later before they hit their straps. Id also like to assert that winning a bledisloe series would be a bigger and more personal achievement for the wallabies than a RWC, there is no greater challenge in rugby union than beating NZ over three games, especially if two of those are in NZ

      • May 17th 2017 @ 9:07am
        Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        I understand what you’re saying, but I would still rather play NZ in the final where one upset wins the title than face them in the quarters or semis.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 11:00am
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          I think Fionn has a point.

          In all real WC’s bar 1995 (I don’t really rate the WC’s 1987 and 1991 since arguably the best team in world at that moment was not participating), teams that have defeated AB’s in the QF or SF, always lose the next game.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 11:15am
            Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            The Wallabies giving the Boks a hiding in Cape Town in 1992 disputes this ;), but I agree. Much harder to pull up after a win over the All Blacks, both mentally and physically.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 12:55pm
            Jake said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            “I don’t really rate the WC’s 1987 and 1991 since arguably the best team in world at that moment was not participating”

            Which team would that be? Surely you don’t mean South Africa, who were promptly flogged by the not-so-good World Cup winning Wallabies 26-3 (in Capetown) on their return to international rugby? Try harder.

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2017 @ 2:15pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report


              You are funny.

              But maybe you are a little bit unlucky when you are thinking?

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2017 @ 9:38pm
                Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

                I do struggle to comprehend how you can argue that the 91 WC triumph doesn’t count given the Boks were flattened at home by both Aus and NZ the next year, but perhaps that is partially my Wallabies bias.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm
            Kane said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            It’s called the Roger Federer affect.

            When in his prime whoever seemed to knock him out of a tournament before a final tended to lose the next match.

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2017 @ 10:07pm
              Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

              Except for 2008 Australian Open 😉

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 5:10pm
            The Saint said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

   are delusional. What a stupid statement to make. Both the Wallabies and All Blacks beat the Boks in Durban and Johannesburg, respectively on the Boks’ return to international rugby in 1992.
            Also, on a different thread you wrongly assused T-Man of delving too much into the history books.
   is you that is spending too much time in the fiction section of the library…

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2017 @ 5:39pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

              Are you not trying a little bit too hard now Saint?

              So AB’s beat the Boks 5 years later? That really changes things ey? So what about Springboks beating both WB’s and AB’s when it really mattered 1995 in the WC?
              What about the Cavaliers in 1986?
              And what about Wallabies record against Springboks before they went into isolation? Or AB*s for that matter. Should we ignore that? Does that makes you feel better?
              But ok, so you say I am delusional for claiming that Springboks “probably” was the best team in the world 1980*s.

              As said, I think you are trying a little bit to hard Saint.

              And I did not wrongly accused T-man. He posted stats non-stop and refused to engage in any form of debate or answer any questions. He just want to post his stats and run his solo show all day.
              But it is okay. I know that now. I shall not reply to him again.

              Question: according to you, is it okay for T-man to be in library but not me? Just checking your standards 😉

              • May 17th 2017 @ 8:35pm
                BBA said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

                It is one of the great shames that the Boks who had a great team in the 80’s werent able to play in the 87 RWC.

                However if we are talking 87 RWC I have to say that the 87 team was significantly better than the 86 AB team. It has to be noted that a number of players chose not to tour with the Cavaliers. So I personally doubt that the SA team would have been the best of the late 80’s and that a change was a coming.

                It should be noted that there were some absolute legends that played for the AB’s in the 87 RwC that werent in the Cavaliers, for example like Michael Jones, Sean Fitzpatrick, David Kirk, and John Kirwan. They had a different coaching team, and they played a different game then what they had played before based upon a scarily good Auckland team that I hated with a passion.

                While it would be a great match up methinks that the Boks may have struggled with the way rugby had changed plus for what its worth the AB’s have done reasonably well at Auckland and to win that RWC you would have most likely had to beat the AB’s at home.

                Finally there was a reason why SA was disqualified from those RWC’s. Those reasons to me were valid, it seems particularly churlish that if one countries activities managed to get itself disqualified, well not invited, at the least, that no other matches are allowed to count.

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm
                Sluggy said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

                And what about Wallabies record against Springboks before they went into isolation? Or AB*s for that matter. Should we ignore that?

                Yes, for two reasons:

                – because the Wallabies and AB in 91/87 were better quality than in the 1960s; &

                – neutral referees. 😉

              • May 19th 2017 @ 12:03am
                Gavin Tyler said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:03am | ! Report

                How old are you Neutral? 4?

              • May 19th 2017 @ 12:09am
                Gavin Tyler said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:09am | ! Report

                So, Neutral when Sharapova was banned for using drugs all the Grand Slams that were held during that suspension time do not count? For something she chose to do?
                SA chose a political system that the free world did not agree with and were banned from international rugby and other sports… so the world cups cups held during their time of suspension did not count? For something they chose to do?
                You have some flawed logic.
                Wake up to the real world!!!!!

              • Roar Guru

                May 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

                SA chose a political system

                It really can be discussed if they “choose” that system. Let’s not forget many white people in SA was not suporters of apartheid at all (but if you cared about your life, you had to keep a very low profile with those opinions). And during the 80’s, that white minority became a majority and things – Thank God – started to change around 1989/90.

                so the world cups cups held during their time of suspension did not count?

                They don’t count 100 % in my book, that is all. I am not saying they were non contests, just that I don’t rate them. For a WC to be legit, the best teams must be in it, otherwise it is not a real WC. For instance, I don’t really rate the first three WC’s in soccer either, too many of great nations were missing.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 4:54am
      Darwin Stubbie said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:54am | ! Report

      The only surest thing that can be factored in is that nothing will work out as simply as what pundits and fans are predicting …

      • May 17th 2017 @ 7:21am
        Fionn said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

        This is a fair asssessment ?

    • May 17th 2017 @ 5:06am
      P2R2 said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:06am | ! Report

      ….If Coetzee is not the coach – say, if someone like Jake White is brought in at short notice to try and fix things …. Fionn I don’t think this will happen….

      • May 17th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Mielie said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        If only Lord.

        If only

    • May 17th 2017 @ 8:58am
      Blue Horned Mike said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Watch! Italy will win the World Cup in 2019! 😛

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